Irish NGO curtails West Bank activity

DUBLIN, Ireland (JTA) – A major Irish NGO that trains activists to oppose Jewish settlements is cutting back on its West Bank activity due to budget cuts.

Trocaire, a Catholic aid agency that is one of Ireland’s largest and most influential NGOs, announced it will reduce its presence in the West Bank following massive cuts in the Irish government’s overseas aid budget and a substantial drop-off in private donations. The group has been active in Gaza and the West Bank since 2002.

In Ireland, the group has used its public profile to campaign against the West Bank security fence, Jewish housing in the West Bank and in eastern Jerusalem, and Israeli military action against Hamas in Gaza. Earlier this year, Trocaire called for the suspension of EU-Israel Association Agreement.

In a report issued in March, the Israel-based watchdog NGO Monitor accused the group of helping to “fuel the conflict” through “one-sided activities.”

According to its most recent public accounts, the organization spends approximately $1.07 million per year on its Palestinian-related activities.

The Irish government cut its support of Trocaire by 22 percent. Private donations are down 10 percent, the group said.

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